Green Cliffbrake

Pellaea viridis?/
Cheilanthes viridis

Cliffbrake, Pellaea, photo © by Michael Plagens

Growing among partially shaded boulders on the Elgeyo Escarpment near Iten, Kenya. July 2014.

From Wikipedia: Ferns with creeping rhizomes and pinnately to bipinnately compound leaves lacking prominent scales or trichomes on the blades. Like most members of Pteridaceae, they have marginal sori protected by a false indusium formed from the reflexed leaf margin. The distinction of Pellaea from the typically hairier or scalier Cheilanthes has proven difficult, with some members (e.g., the African P. viridis) being of uncertain affinity, listed by different authors in both genera. Furthermore, Pellaea contains a number of sections that may warrant generic status since they appear to represent convergence in phenotypes related to arid habitats rather than similarity due to common descent.

Pteridaceae -- Fern Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 29 November 2014